The life-enhancing lessons from losing our furry friends

Recently, as some of you know, we had to say goodbye to our joyful and gentle companion for 13 years, Daisy dog.

I felt in my grief that there was something she had left with me, and when I was able to put that into words I wanted to share them with you because I have found them to be life enhancing.

I always knew saying goodbye would be difficult and 13 is a big age for a chocolate Labrador, but the reality of it, the loss of her constant unquestioning, light-filled presence, has been incredibly tough.

She was at the centre of so much of my everyday routine, I called her my shadow because she followed me around everywhere I went and we were a tight little team. We walked at least twice a day together, and that was the highlight of both our day.

Walking without her is the hardest part. I cried so hard on my second walk that I opened the camera on my phone so it looked like I was on a Facetime call and not just roaming the streets sobbing on my own – which was in fact what I was doing!

The intensity of my grief over Daisy’s passing took even me by surprise. It is of course a reflection of how much I loved her but as I tried to understand just what it was I had lost, beyond her companionship – which was so treasured – it was her presence, her spirit and what it represented.

Because Daisy didn’t judge us or hold a grudge every time we took her to the vet which she hated so much. She was terrified to go, but never showed any anger or resentment to me for taking her there.


Judgment wasn’t in her make-up. That’s why dogs and other pets are so special to us because there is a purity and sweetness to their spirit that separates them from humans and takes on a more angelic dimension.

Yes, it’s a simplicity because they aren’t created to think and communicate in the way we are. But the fact that every day her loving presence was constant, and that she was always filled with excitement and anticipation about life’s simple pleasures, is one of the biggest lessons I have learned from her.

She was swift to trust, and slow to anger, and was always hopeful that something good was just around the corner – in her case in the form of a treat.

The message from our furry friends

Imagine if we could, even in the smallest way, live a life like our beloved pets. Being grateful for the simple joys of being surrounded by those we love, having food to eat, being able to walk and enjoy nature and trusting that what we need will be provided to us if we just don’t worry about it.

In other words, starting each day expecting the best. Not wasting our time or energy fretting over things that most likely will never happen or judging others or, even worse, judging ourselves and giving ourselves a hard time for ‘not being good enough’.

Dogs and pets don’t do that. They are just present and don’t question if they are enough. They exist and therefore they are entitled to enjoy all this life has to offer – and it’s the same for us.

Being able to put what Daisy left me into words has helped me process her loss and bring meaning to it, but I also really hope it helps you.

It’s so tempting to fear life, to limit ourselves by assuming we’re stuck in a rut with no way out and no way of advancing ourselves or achieving our dreams.

We keep ourselves in a cage by doing that. But by applying a little of that Daisy spirit of optimism and expectation and a born right to enjoy life; just watch the treats roll in.